Our Virginia Personal Injury Attorneys Have the Answers You Seek

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  • Who is liable if a dog bites you at a dog park in Virginia?

    Liability for a dog bite at a VA dog park Dog parks are popular in Norfolk and Virginia Beach and allow dogs to roam and interact with other canines freely without the constraints of a leash. However, dog attacks can occur at a dog park, severely injuring victims. 

    If a dog has bitten you at a dog park, it is crucial to seek legal assistance from an experienced Norfolk premises liability lawyer at Tavss Fletcher. We can help you prove the owner’s or dog handler’s liability to compensate you for your medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity damages, and pain and suffering.

    Liability for a Dog Bite at a Norfolk Dog Park

    Determining liability in a dog bite case at a dog park can be complex because dog owners use the park knowing that other people’s dogs will not be on a leash. Therefore, the park owner may not face liability if someone at the park is injured due to a dog attack.

    However, the dog’s owner or handler may be responsible for compensating a victim, although liability may be harder to prove than if the dog bit the individual at another location. They may be liable if a victim can establish liability under one of these Virginia laws:

    Virginia’s Dog Bite Law 

    Under Virginia dog bite law, a dog owner might be liable for injuries caused by their dog biting another person at a dog park if the victim can show that the owner knew or should have known their dog was dangerous or vicious. Victims can prove this if they have evidence that the dog bit someone in the past or engaged in dangerous behavior, such as jumping on people.


    A dog owner and handler have a duty to exercise reasonable care to control and restrain a dog they take to a dog park. If they failed to supervise their dog in the park properly or did not take appropriate precautions to prevent an attack, they may be liable for negligence if their dog bites someone.

    Negligence Per Se 

    In some cases, negligence per se may also apply. Negligence per se arises when a person violates a specific law or regulation enacted to protect individuals from a particular harm. If the owner violated a local ordinance or rule applicable to dog parks, and this violation directly contributed to a dog bite injury, they may be held liable under negligence per se.

  • Should I retain a lawyer after a minor truck accident in Norfolk?

    Hire a lawyer after a minor truck crashIf you have been involved in a truck collision in Virginia Beach or Norfolk, you may wonder if you should retain an attorney. Even if you believe the truck wreck was minor, speaking with an experienced Norfolk truck accident lawyer at Tavss Fletcher is always in your best interests. Truck crashes are rarely minor, and hiring an attorney is essential to protect your rights.

    Reasons You Should Hire an Attorney After a Minor Norfolk Truck Collision

    You should retain a skilled lawyer after a truck accident for many reasons, even when you believe the damage to your vehicle was minor or that you suffered no severe injuries. Here are a few of the most important benefits of hiring an attorney at Tavss Fletcher.

    Suffering More Severe Injuries 

    While the initial impact of a truck accident may appear minor initially, you may have suffered long-term injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries or back or spinal injuries, with symptoms that develop and worsen over time. A lawyer will work with your doctors to assess the long-term impact of the collision on your health, ability to work, and quality of life.

    Valuing Your Claim 

    Calculating the value of your claim can be complex, especially when quantifying intangible damages such as pain and suffering. A knowledgeable truck accident lawyer can accurately determine the compensation you should receive in your settlement based on their experience settling and litigating truck wreck claims.

    Communicating With the Insurance Company

    Dealing with insurance companies can be challenging, as they may do everything they can to deny their liability to pay you or try to get you to accept less damages than you are entitled to. Your lawyer will take over all communication with the insurance adjuster, protecting you from making statements that could harm your case. 

    Negotiating Your Settlement 

    A dedicated truck accident lawyer understands the complexities of negotiating with insurance companies. They will leverage their knowledge and experience to advocate for your best interests and push for a settlement that reflects the true extent of your damages. If the insurance company is unwilling to offer you a fair settlement, your attorney will litigate your case and take your case to a jury trial if this is in your best interests.

  • What is the statute of limitations to sue in car accident cases in Norfolk?

    Car accident statute of limitationsIf you must file a claim for compensation after a car accident in Norfolk or Virginia Beach, understanding the statute of limitations laws is of utmost importance. Failing to meet this deadline can have severe consequences, potentially resulting in losing your right to pursue compensation. It is essential to retain an experienced Norfolk car accident lawyer at Tavss Fletcher who can file your complaint promptly and negotiate your settlement with the insurance company.

    Deadlines to Sue in Virginia Car Accident Cases 

    The statute of limitations is when a lawsuit must be filed against a negligent driver after an auto collision. In Virginia, this time limit varies depending on the type of claim you are pursuing. Here are the crucial deadlines to remember:

    Injury Claims

    If you sustained injuries in a car collision and need to pursue a personal injury claim, the statute of limitations to sue is two years from the accident date. 

    Property Damages

    If your vehicle or other property was damaged in the accident and you intend to file a claim for property damages, the deadline to file a lawsuit is five years from the date of the auto wreck. 

    Wrongful Death

    In the unfortunate event of a car accident resulting in the death of a loved one, a wrongful death claim must be filed within two years from the date of their passing, which could be later than the date of the collision. 

    Consequences if You Miss the Statute of Limitations After a Norfolk Auto Crash

    Failing to sue the negligent driver within the statute of limitations deadline in a car crash case can have severe consequences. Here is what you may face.

    Inability to File a Lawsuit 

    If you fail to file a civil complaint within the prescribed timeframe, you may be permanently barred from filing a lawsuit and obtaining compensation for your injuries, property damages, or wrongful death. The insurance company would likely file a motion to dismiss your case, which the judge would grant.

    Limited Options for Recovery 

    Once the statute of limitations has expired, insurance companies and other parties involved in the accident would likely be unwilling to negotiate or provide you with compensation because they know you cannot file a lawsuit. This would leave you without any means to recover your losses.

  • What types of retirement accounts and pensions are common in Virginia divorces?

    Retirement AccountA retirement account may often be one of the most substantial assets accumulated during a marriage. When going through a divorce in Norfolk or Virginia Beach, you need to understand the various types of retirement accounts that must be divided as part of the property settlement. Hiring an experienced Norfolk family law attorney can help protect your rights and ensure you receive a fair share of the retirement accounts or pension accumulated during your marriage. 

    Types of Retirement Accounts That Must Be Divided in a Virginia Divorce

    There are several different retirement accounts and pensions that your spouse and you may have. A skilled family law lawyer can help you divide them and complete the specific requirements, such as entering a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) to transfer retirement assets. Here are common retirement accounts in Virginia divorces:

    401(K) Plan

    A 401(k) plan is a popular retirement account offered by many employers. This retirement plan allows employees to contribute a portion of their salary on a pre-tax basis, which grows tax-deferred until withdrawal. In a divorce, a 401(k) plan is subject to equitable distribution, meaning the court will determine a fair division based on various factors, including the length of the marriage and the contributions made by each spouse.

    403(B) Plan

    Similar to a 401(k) plan, a 403(b) plan is designed for employees of certain nonprofit organizations, public schools, and tax-exempt organizations. Employees contribute to a 403(b) plan on a pre-tax basis, and the account grows tax-deferred until retirement. During a divorce, a 403(b) plan is an asset that must be considered as part of the property settlement. 

    Individual Retirement Account (IRA)

    An individual retirement account, commonly known as an IRA, is a personal retirement account that individuals can establish. It allows individuals to contribute a certain amount annually, which can grow tax-free or tax-deferred depending on the type of IRA. In a divorce, an IRA is also considered a marital asset.

    Pension Plan

    A pension plan is a retirement plan sponsored by an employer that provides a regular income stream to employees after retirement. The value of a pension plan is typically based on factors such as the length of employment, salary, and years of service. In a divorce, a pension plan is subject to division, and the non-employee spouse may be entitled to a portion of the benefits accumulated during the marriage.

    Federal Civil Service Pension

    For individuals employed by the federal government, the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) may provide them with pension benefits based on their years of service and salary. Another retirement benefit they may have that needs to be addressed in a divorce is a federal Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). It is a defined contribution plan similar to a 401(k).

    Military Pension

    Military pensions are retirement benefits earned by individuals serving in the armed forces. The Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (USFSPA) allows military pensions to be split during a divorce. 

  • How much is an average Norfolk motorcycle accident settlement?

    Motorcycle Accident SettlementIf you have been involved in a motorcycle accident in Virginia Beach or Norfolk and are considering filing a claim, you may want to know what an average settlement amount would be. Unfortunately, there is no set average for motorcycle crash settlements in Virginia. 

    Each motorcycle accident case is unique and has its own strengths and weaknesses that affect how much a motorcycle crash victim can expect to receive in their settlement. However, an experienced Norfolk motorcycle accident lawyer can evaluate your case and provide you with an idea of what you can realistically expect to obtain from the negligent driver’s insurance company. 

    Factors a Lawyer Will Evaluate When Determining How Much You May Receive in Your Motorcycle Collision Settlement 

    Settling a motorcycle crash claim can be complicated. A knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer will weigh many factors in determining how much compensation you deserve. Here are some issues they will consider:


     One of the primary factors your attorney will evaluate is the amount of compensation you are entitled to under Virginia law if you win your case. You can recover your past and future medical costs, property damages, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The total value of these damages will be the starting point in your lawyer’s determination of your claim’s value.

    Severity of Your Injuries

    The severity of your injuries directly affects the compensation you should receive. More severe injuries that require expensive medical treatment, surgeries, and rehabilitation or result in long-term disabilities tend to result in higher settlements. Your lawyer will consider your medical records, expert opinions, and any long-term impact your injuries have on your health, ability to work, and quality of life when assessing how much your claim is worth.


    If the other driver’s negligence in causing your wreck is clear-cut, you will have a stronger case. The at-fault motorist’s insurance company would have a harder time disputing their responsibility to compensate you for your injuries, and you can expect a higher settlement. 

    Your Partial Fault

    Virginia follows a harsh contributory negligence rule, meaning that if you are found even one percent to blame for causing the accident, you may be barred from recovering any compensation. Your attorney will investigate the cause of the crash, gather evidence, and build a solid case to minimize any potential fault attributed to you. However, your level of negligence, if any, can negatively affect the overall settlement amount.

  • What factors influence how much my dog bite claim is worth?

    Dog bite claimIf you have been bitten by a dog in Norfolk, you may wonder how much compensation you could receive for your injuries. You need to keep in mind that every dog bite case is unique, and your claim’s value will depend on various factors. However, an experienced premises liability attorney can assist you in determining the approximate value of your claim based on the types of compensation awarded under Virginia’s dog bite laws and factors that can influence how much your case is worth.

    Four Factors That Can Affect the Value of Your Claim

    Your attorney would first determine the amount of compensation you could recover if you win your case. In Virginia, you can recover your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering in dog bite cases. 

    Your lawyer would also weigh several factors that can make your case stronger or weaker and might significantly affect your claim’s worth. Some factors they would consider include the following:

    • Severity of your injuries. The severity of your dog bite injuries will significantly impact the potential value of your claim. More severe injuries requiring extensive, future medical treatment and resulting in long-term or permanent disabilities are generally associated with higher compensation amounts.
    • Disputes with the insurance company. The dog owner’s insurance company may try to downplay the severity of your injuries, the reasonableness of your medical treatments, or their insured’s liability to try to deny your claim or pay you less money in your settlement. If any disputes are valid, this could weaken your case and the overall value of your claim. 
    • Your partial fault. Virginia follows the contributory negligence rule, which means that if you are found even slightly responsible for the dog bite incident, you may be barred from recovering any compensation. However, an attorney can analyze the circumstances of your case and help present a strong argument to minimize any potential fault attributed to you.
    • Mistakes. If you made mistakes when filing your claim, such as delaying obtaining medical care, posting about your dog bite on social media, or agreeing to give a recorded statement, this could hurt your case. While your lawyer will have arguments to defeat the insurance adjuster’s disputes, you may have to accept less damages to settle your claim.

  • What is a commercial truck?

    Commercial truckThere are many types of commercial trucks on our roads in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. If you suffer injuries in a crash, you must understand the type of truck that struck your vehicle because it could impact your claim against the negligent trucker. You also need to immediately retain an experienced Norfolk truck accident lawyer who will fight with the insurance company for the compensation you deserve for your injuries. 

    Types of Commercial Trucks

    A commercial truck is one used for commercial purposes. These motor vehicles are much bigger and heavier than passenger vehicles. There are many different types of commercial trucks, such as the following:

    • Semi-trailer truck. A semi-trailer truck, also known as a tractor-trailer or big rig, consists of a semi-truck cab and a trailer connected by a fifth wheel. These trucks are used for long-haul transportation of goods, with the trailer providing ample space for cargo.
    • Eighteen-wheeler. An eighteen-wheeler is another name for a semi-trailer truck, referring to the total number of wheels on the vehicle. These trucks can haul heavy loads over long distances and are often seen on highways.
    • Tanker. Tanker trucks are designed to transport liquids or gases, such as fuel, chemicals, or other liquids like milk. These trucks feature cylindrical tanks, which are securely sealed to prevent leaks during transportation.
    • Flatbed. Flatbed trucks have an open cargo area without sides or a roof, allowing for easy loading and unloading of various items. They transport construction materials, machinery, or large equipment.
    • Box truck. Box trucks have an enclosed cargo area with walls and a roof. They are frequently used for local deliveries, moving household goods, or transporting perishable items.
    • Delivery truck. Delivery trucks are often seen in urban areas and neighborhoods and are designed to transport consumer goods over short distances. These trucks range in size and can include vans and small box trucks.

    Why It Matters if a Commercial Truck is Involved in a Collision

    When a truck is involved in an accident, this can affect a victim’s claim for compensation for their injuries. Here are several unique issues that arise in these cases:

    Federal Regulations

    Commercial trucks are subject to strict federal regulations imposed by agencies such as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Violations of these regulations, such as driver fatigue, improper maintenance, or exceeding weight limits, can significantly contribute to accidents and may indicate a trucker’s and trucking company’s negligence and liability.

    Increased Risk of Serious Injuries

    Due to the size and weight of large commercial trucks, occupants of smaller vehicles can suffer catastrophic injuries or death. This can increase the value of a victim’s claim. Unfortunately, the insurance company could fight longer and harder to deny their claim or pay them less money in their settlement.

    Complex Insurance and Legal Issues

    Commercial truck accidents often involve complex insurance policies and legal considerations. Determining liability, negotiating with multiple parties, and understanding the nuances of trucking regulations require the expertise of a knowledgeable truck accident attorney.

  • Am I entitled to pre- and post-judgment interest if I win my Norfolk car accident case?

    Car accident judgementWhile most Virginia Beach and Norfolk auto crash claims are settled out-of-court, some cases must be decided at a trial when the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement. If your case goes to a jury trial, your experienced Norfolk car accident attorney can help you obtain pre- and post-judgment interest, significantly impacting the final amount of compensation you receive.

    What is Pre- and Post-Judgment Interest?

    Pre-judgment interest is the interest that accrues on the damages you have suffered from the time of the collision until the date of the jury's verdict. Post-judgment interest accrues on the awarded amount from the verdict date until the insurance company pays the judgment in full.

    You are entitled to pre- and post-judgment interest in your car accident case in Virginia only if your case goes to trial and you win. You will not receive interest if you reach a settlement agreement during the litigation process. However, your skilled car accident attorney could negotiate this in your settlement.

    Virginia's interest rate for pre- and post-judgment is generally set at six percent per year. This rate is calculated based on the total damages awarded by the jury.

    How Can You Obtain Judgment Interest After a Norfolk Car Accident?

    Post-judgment interest is automatically awarded to you once the jury reaches a verdict in your favor. The court will calculate the interest based on the amount of the verdict and the number of days that pass until the judgment is fully paid.

    To obtain pre-judgment interest, you need to take specific actions. Here are the key steps you must take:

    • Your complaint. You must make a specific request for pre-judgment interest in your complaint. If you fail to do this, you cannot receive pre-judgment interest if your case goes to trial.
    • Jury instructions. Your car accident attorney should request the inclusion of pre-judgment interest in the jury instructions. The judge would instruct the jury to consider the interest when calculating the final award.
    • Verdict form. The verdict form should explicitly allow the jury to award pre-judgment interest separately from other damages. Your lawyer will ensure that this provision is included in the form submitted to the jury. 
    • Closing arguments. During closing arguments, your attorney should ask the jury to award pre-judgment interest. This reminder can significantly influence the jury's decision.

    The award of pre-judgment interest is discretionary. The jury can choose not to award it even if they find you deserve all the compensation you request. However, following these steps increases the chances of receiving pre-judgment interest, which can significantly increase the amount of money you receive, especially if it has taken a year or longer to resolve your case.

  • Can I receive punitive damages if I was injured in a motorcycle accident in Norfolk?

    Motorcycle accident damagesIf you were hurt in a motorcycle wreck caused by a negligent driver in the Virginia Beach or Norfolk areas, you can seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. While compensatory damages aim to reimburse your losses, you can be awarded punitive damages in rare cases to punish the at-fault party for their egregious behavior. An experienced Norfolk motorcycle accident attorney can fight with the at-fault driver's insurance company so that you receive the damages you deserve under Virginia law.

    What Are Punitive Damages and When Are They Awarded?

    Punitive damages are compensation paid to the victim of a motorcycle accident in addition to compensatory damages. They are awarded if the negligent driver acted maliciously or in willful and wanton disregard for others' safety when causing a motorcycle collision. 

    Punitive damages are not typically awarded in motorcycle accident cases, as they require specific circumstances and evidence of extreme behavior. Here are the purposes of punitive damages:

    • Punish the motorist. One purpose is to punish the driver, not compensate the victim.
    • Deterrence. Another goal of these damages is to stop the at-fault driver and others from engaging in these dangerous driving practices in the future.

    When Can Punitive Damages Be Awarded in Drunk Driving Motorcycle Crashes? 

    In collisions involving drunk driving, punitive damages may be more likely to be awarded to motorcycle accident victims. However, certain conditions must be established to seek punitive damages in such cases:

    Intoxication. The at-fault driver must have been intoxicated during the accident, and their blood alcohol content (BAC) must have been 0.15 percent or higher.
    • Knowledge of impairment. The drunk driver must have known or should have known that their alcohol consumption impaired their driving abilities.
    • Causal connection. A motorcycle accident victim must prove that there is a clear causal connection between the drunk driver's intoxication and their injuries. 

  • Is there a damage cap on the amount of compensation I can recover for my truck accident injuries in Virginia?

    Truck accident damagesYou may have suffered severe injuries if you were the victim of a truck accident in Norfolk or Virginia Beach and may be worried about your expensive medical bills when you have no income while you recover from your injuries. When pursuing your claim against the negligent trucker and truck company, you should understand the damage caps in Virginia. An experienced Norfolk truck accident lawyer can explain these laws and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

    Damage Cap on Punitive Damages in Virginia

    A damage cap reduces the amount of compensation that you can recover. Virginia has a cap on punitive damages in truck accident cases. You would be awarded punitive damages to punish the at-fault trucker and trucking company, not to compensate you, and are rare in truck accident cases. 

    To be eligible for punitive damages, you must show that the truck driver or trucking company acted especially recklessly or outrageously when causing your truck wreck. You may also receive punitive damages if the trucker was intoxicated when they caused the crash. If punitive damages are awarded, the cap is $350,000. 

    No Cap on Economic and Non-Economic Compensation 

    Virginia does not have a cap on economic or non-economic damages in truck collision claims, such as pain and suffering. You can recover the total compensation for these damages, up to the total amount of your actual losses. Types of damages you can recover include the following:

    • Medical expenses. The negligent trucker and trucking company should reimburse you for all past and future medical bills you incurred due to your injuries, such as hospitalization, surgery, doctor appointments, physical therapy, and medications.
    • Lost wages. If you were off work because of your injuries, you should be compensated for your past and future wages in your settlement. If you can no longer work due to your injuries, you may also be able to recover lost earning capacity damages.
    • Pain and suffering. Another type of compensation you can recover is damages for the physical pain, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life that resulted from the truck accident. You need the assistance of a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer to determine how much you should receive for your pain and suffering.
    • Property damage. If your motor vehicle or other property was damaged in the truck collision, you should receive the cost of repairs or replacement.

  • Can I file a car accident claim in Norfolk if I'm here illegally?

    Car Accident Illegal ImmigrantIf you are in the country illegally and injured in a car accident in Norfolk, you may be afraid to file a claim for damages with the negligent driver's insurance company. However, it is vital to understand that you may still be entitled to compensation for your injuries. 

    Retaining an experienced Norfolk car accident lawyer to pursue your claim and ensure your rights are protected is essential. Find answers to some common questions and concerns that illegal immigrants may have when filing a car crash claim in Virginia here.

    What Rights Do Illegal Immigrants Have to File a Claim After a Norfolk Auto Crash?

    Individuals in the United States illegally have the same rights as U.S. citizens to pursue a claim after a car accident in Virginia. Your immigration status should not affect your ability to seek compensation for your injuries. No one should ask about your immigration status when you file your claim with the insurance company or a lawsuit.

    However, you may face unique challenges in pursuing your claim as an illegal immigrant. It is crucial to retain a skilled auto collision attorney in Norfolk who will understand these challenges and work to protect your rights.

    Can You File a Claim If You Do Not Speak English?

    Even if you do not speak English, you can still file a claim with the insurance company after a car crash. You can also file a lawsuit if the insurance company refuses to be reasonable or the statute of limitations to file your complaint will expire. 

    Your pleadings would have to be in English. However, a knowledgeable car crash lawyer can help you with the legal process and ensure all pleadings are in English. 

    What Types of Compensation Can You Recover?

    An immigrant here illegally has the same rights to compensation as someone here legally. You may be entitled to these types of compensation:

    • Medical expenses. You can recover the cost of medical treatment for your injuries, including hospital bills, doctor's fees, medication, and rehabilitation expenses.
    • Lost wages. If you cannot work due to your injuries, you can seek compensation for the wages you lost while recovering.
    • Pain and suffering. You may receive compensation for the physical pain and emotional distress you have suffered due to the auto collision.
    • Property damage. If your car suffered damages in the accident, you could obtain compensation for the cost of repairs or the value of your vehicle if it was totaled. You can also receive reimbursement to cover the cost to repair or replace other property damaged in the crash.

  • What is considered a contested divorce in Virginia?

    Couple Talking About a Contested DivorceIf you want to get divorced in Norfolk or Virginia Beach, it is essential to understand your options and know the difference between a contested and uncontested divorce. An experienced family law attorney can help you decide the best choice for your circumstances.

    Differences Between a Contested and Non-Contested Divorce in Virginia

    An uncontested divorce can be filed when both spouses agree on all the issues related to the divorce, including property division, child custody, child support, and alimony. They must file a contested divorce if they cannot agree on one or more issues, and a judge must resolve the disputes.

    To obtain a no-fault divorce in Virginia, a couple must have a written and signed separation agreement and be separated for at least six months (or one year if they have children). Both parties must agree to the divorce and all issues, or the court will not grant a no-fault divorce.

    Grounds for a Contested Divorce in Virginia

    If both parties cannot agree on getting divorced or all the issues that must be decided on, the divorce is considered contested. One party must establish fault to obtain a divorce. Here are the grounds that must be established in Virginia.


    Adultery happens when one spouse engages in a sexual relationship outside the marriage. The spouse claiming adultery must provide clear and convincing evidence of the affair.

    Desertion or Abandonment

    Desertion can be grounds for divorce if a spouse leaves the marriage and has no intention of returning. The abandonment can involve the spouse leaving the marital home or can be established if they constructively desert the marriage. To establish desertion, the spouse claiming desertion must prove that the other spouse has been absent for a year or more with no intent to return.

    Criminal Conviction

    A criminal conviction is also a fault-based ground for divorce in Virginia. If one spouse is convicted of a felony and is sentenced to more than one year in prison, their partner may file for divorce.


    Cruelty is another ground for divorce in our state. To establish cruelty, a spouse must prove that the other spouse has been physically or mentally abusive and that they are in danger of bodily harm.

  • What can I do if my slip and fall accident claim is denied?

    Slip and Fall Claim Denied SignIf you suffer any injuries in a slip and fall accident in Virginia Beach or Norfolk, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries from the negligent property or business owner. However, insurance companies often deny or lowball slip and fall claims.

    If your claim is denied, you should hire an experienced premises liability attorney as soon as possible. They can explain your options and go up against the insurance adjuster for the damages you are entitled to under Virginia law.

    Reasons Why Your Slip and Fall Accident Claim May Be Denied

    There are many reasons that the insurance company could deny your claim. While some may be legitimate, others are unfair tactics used to save the company money. Here are common reasons slip and fall accident claims are denied:

    Insufficient Evidence

    The insurance company may dispute your claim if you do not provide enough evidence, such as medical records, witnesses, or photographs, to support your claim.

    Denial Without Proper Investigation

    The insurance company could deny your claim without conducting a proper investigation. They may fail to interview witnesses, review documents, or inspect the accident scene.

    Disputes About Liability and Injuries

    The insurance company could deny your claim if they dispute who is liable for the accident or the cause of your injuries. They may raise these arguments even if you have a solid claim against their insured.

    Misrepresentation of Insurance Coverage

    Unfortunately, the insurance company may misrepresent the terms of their insurance coverage as an excuse to not settle your claim.

    Options if Your Slip and Fall Accident Claim Is Denied

    You should not give up if the insurance company denies your claim. You still may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. You have several options:

    Continue Negotiations

    Your first step should be to ask the insurance adjuster to explain their denial of your claim in writing. You can provide them with evidence to refute their arguments and try negotiating with them to get your claim approved. You have a better chance of success if you retain a skilled premises liability lawyer to negotiate your settlement.

    Pursue a Claim With Another Party

    If your claim was denied for a legitimate reason or the property or business owner did not have insurance coverage, you may be able to pursue your claim against another party, such as the contractor who installed the dangerous condition.

    File a Lawsuit

    If you cannot resolve your claim through negotiations, you may have to file a lawsuit against the property owner or another responsible party. Litigating your claim can be complex and time-consuming, so hiring a knowledgeable premises liability attorney is essential.

  • Can I recover my paid time off if I was injured in a truck accident?

    Paid Time Off SignageTruck accidents in the Norfolk and Virginia Beach areas can cause devastating injuries that leave victims unable to work for months or longer while they recover. If you had to use your sick or vacation time due to injuries sustained in a truck collision caused by a negligent trucker, you may be entitled to recover your paid time off (PTO). You are more likely to obtain all the PTO you deserve if you retain an experienced truck accident lawyer to settle your claim with the insurance company.

    When Can You Recover PTO in Your Truck Crash Settlement?

    If you suffered injuries in a truck wreck, you might be able to recover compensation for your injuries from the negligent trucker and trucking company under Virginia law. As part of your wage loss claim, you can ask to be reimbursed for the paid time off you had to use while you were recovering from your injuries. Here are situations where you may be entitled to PTO compensation:

    • Hospitalizations
    • Recovery time at home
    • Doctor appointments
    • Calls and meetings with the insurance company
    • Court hearings
    • Appointments with your lawyer

    How Do You Document the PTO You Took Due to Your Truck Collision Injuries?

    You must prove your right to recover your PTO as part of your settlement with the insurance company. A knowledgeable truck accident lawyer can explain when you can recover your paid time off and help obtain the evidence you need to document the time you took off work. Documentation can include the following:

    Letter From Your Employer

    A letter from your boss listing your salary and the PTO you took while recovering from your injuries can help you prove your right to reimbursement of your PTO. If your case is decided at a jury trial, your employer may need to testify about the paid time off you took.

    Employee Handbooks and Policies

    Your employee handbook may outline how PTO is accrued and how it can be used. This documentation can help support your PTO claim.

    Records of Any Appointments

    If you had to take time off work for medical appointments, meetings with the insurance company or lawyer, or court hearings, you should keep records of these appointments. This documentation can help establish that you took time off work because of your injuries and not for other reasons, such as a vacation or a doctor’s appointment for a non-related medical condition.

  • Will I need to give a deposition in my car accident case?

    Deposition and Judges GavelAs a victim of an auto crash in Virginia Beach or Norfolk, you may wonder if you will need to give a deposition as part of your case. While not all car accident victims are required to give depositions, it is important to understand what a deposition entails if you are asked to provide one. Being prepared and having an experienced car accident lawyer to represent you during the deposition process can significantly affect the outcome of your case.

    What Is a Deposition?

    A deposition is a type of discovery where a witness, including a car accident victim, provides sworn testimony under oath. It typically takes place outside the courtroom, and the witness is asked questions by attorneys from both sides of the case. The testimony given during a deposition is recorded and transcribed into a written document that can be used as evidence in court.

    When You May Need to Give a Deposition in a Car Collision Case

    You may have to attend a deposition as a car accident victim in Virginia Beach or Norfolk in several situations. These situations include:

    • Litigation. If your car accident case proceeds to litigation and goes to court, you may have to give a deposition. This would happen during the discovery phase of the litigation process, where both parties exchange information and gather evidence. Attorneys often use depositions to gather information from witnesses, including the car accident victim, to understand the facts of the case, the other party's position, and prepare for trial.
    • Arbitration. In some car accident cases, the crash victim and insurance company may agree to resolve the dispute through arbitration, which is a less formal alternative to litigation. If your case goes to arbitration, you may be required to give a deposition as part of the arbitration process. Depositions in arbitration are similar to depositions in litigation and involve providing sworn testimony under oath.

    How Should You Prepare for a Deposition?

    If you will have to attend a deposition, it is crucial to be prepared and seek the guidance of a knowledgeable car crash lawyer. Here are ways you can do to get ready for a deposition:

    • Review your case. Familiarize yourself with the details of your car accident case, including the events leading up to the accident, the injuries sustained, and any medical treatment received. Also, review any documents or evidence that may be relevant to your claim.
    • Understand the process. Learn about the deposition process and what to expect. Understand that you will be under oath and that your testimony will be recorded. You must be truthful and accurate in your responses.
    • Practice your testimony. Work with your car accident attorney to practice your testimony. Be prepared to answer questions about the auto collision, your injuries, medical treatment, and other relevant details. Practice being clear and concise in your responses.
    • Stay calm and composed. Depositions can be stressful, but it's essential to remain calm and composed during the process. Take your time to listen to questions carefully before answering, and avoid guessing or speculating. It is okay to take breaks if needed.

  • Do most slip and fall accident cases go to trial?

    Slip and Fall Report and Gavel After an AccidentIf you have been hurt in a slip and fall accident caused by a negligent business or property owner in Virginia, you may have a hard time obtaining the compensation you deserve for your injuries. The insurance company could use unfair tactics to deny your claim or try to pay you less damages.

    However, your case will likely be decided in an out-of-court settlement rather than a trial. An experienced premises liability attorney can advise you on whether the insurance company’s settlement offer is fair or whether it is in your best interests to go to trial.

    Reasons Most Slip and Fall Accident Cases Do Not Go to Trial in Virginia

    Most slip and fall accident claims are settled out of court in Virginia. Even if you must file a lawsuit because the insurance company will not offer you the damages you are entitled to or the statute of limitations to file your lawsuit will expire soon, you will most likely settle your case before the scheduled trial date. Here are reasons why these cases rarely go to trial:

    • Jury trials are costly. Jury trials can be very expensive. The cost of going to trial includes attorney fees, court fees, expert witness fees, and other related expenses. The insurance company will most likely agree to settle your claim to save money at some point in the litigation process.
    • Juries are unpredictable. No matter how strong a claim is, there is no way to know how a jury will react or what their decision will be. Additionally, jurors may be swayed by emotions or personal biases, which can impact the outcome of the case. Accident victims and insurance companies often prefer to reach a settlement rather than risk the uncertainty of a jury verdict.
    • Litigating a case is a lengthy process. Litigating a slip and fall accident case can take a long time. The discovery process, where both sides exchange evidence and information, can be time-consuming. Additionally, scheduling court appearances, depositions, and other related events can cause delays in the process. This can be frustrating for clients looking to resolve their cases faster and may make settling a claim a better option.

  • Should I represent myself in my truck accident case?

    Lawyer Looking at Truck Accident PaperworkYou may be tempted to represent yourself when filing a truck accident claim with the insurance company for the negligent truck driver and trucking company in Norfolk. You may think you are saving the cost of paying attorney fees.

    While it may seem like a good idea at the time, representing yourself can harm your case and reduce your compensation for your injuries. If you want to win your case and receive the maximum recovery in your settlement, you should immediately retain an experienced truck accident lawyer.

    Five Reasons Not to Represent Yourself in a Truck Accident Case

    For many reasons, it would be a bad idea for you to try to represent yourself when negotiating a settlement with the insurance company. Here are five ways you could hurt your right to compensation:

    Lack of Legal Knowledge and Experience

    One of the most significant reasons you should not represent yourself when filing a truck accident claim is the lack of legal knowledge and experience. Truck accident claims often involve complex legal issues and violations of federal regulations. You may miss critical details or make mistakes that could harm your case if you do not hire a skilled attorney.

    Difficulty in Gathering Evidence

    You need to collect evidence to prove your case, which is more complicated in a truck crash case. The trucking company would have some evidence you need, such as the trucker’s personnel file, truck inspection reports, and black box data. A lawyer can identify the evidence you need and send the trucking company a spoliation letter notifying them of your claim and demanding they provide the documents and other evidence you may need to win your case.

    Difficulty in Negotiating With Insurance Companies

    Negotiating with insurance companies can be daunting, especially if you are unfamiliar with the process. Insurance companies are in the business of making money, and they will do everything in their power to deny your claim or pay you as little as possible. An experienced lawyer can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries.

    Time-Consuming Process

    Filing a truck accident claim can be a time-consuming process. You must gather evidence, file paperwork, negotiate with insurance companies, and potentially go to court. If you are recovering from injuries sustained in a truck accident, you may not have the time and energy to take care of these tasks. A lawyer can handle the legal aspects of your case, allowing you to focus on your recovery.

    Risk of Losing Your Case

    Finally, representing yourself in a truck accident claim comes with the risk of losing your case. If you make a mistake, miss a deadline, such as the statute of limitations, or fail to provide sufficient evidence, your case may be dismissed. This can result in you receiving little to no compensation for your injuries. A lawyer can help you avoid these pitfalls and handle your case correctly.

  • Who pays for physical therapy after a car accident?

    Physical Therapy Room Being Used After a Car Accident InjuryYou could suffer serious injuries in an auto collision caused by a negligent driver in Virginia, such as a traumatic brain injury, neck injury, or spinal injury that causes pain and limits your movements. Physical therapy could be an important part of your medical treatment that can help you recover. You should retain an experienced car accident lawyer who can advise you on who is liable to pay your physical therapy bills and can go up against the at-fault driver’s insurance company for the compensation you deserve, including your physical therapy expenses.

    How Can Physical Therapy Help Car Accident Victims Recover?

    Physical therapy is a non-evasive medical treatment that can help auto crash victims strengthen injured body parts, increase movement functions, and improve mobility. Manual therapy, custom exercises, and postural training are some techniques a physical therapist may use that can help treat many car collision injuries, such as:

    • Whiplash and other neck injuries
    • Back injuries
    • Shoulder injuries
    • Knee injuries
    • Spinal injuries
    • Pelvic and hip injuries
    • Traumatic brain injuries

    Who Is Responsible for Paying for Physical Therapy Cost After an Auto Collision?

    If a negligent driver caused your car accident, they are responsible for paying for the cost of your physical therapy. You would have to file a claim with the insurance company and document the need for physical therapy and its costs. Here are steps you can take to prove this part of your claim:

    • Obtain a referral for physical therapy from your physician, and keep a copy of the referral to provide to the insurance company. Ask your doctor to document the need for physical therapy in your medical records.
    • Keep good records of your physical therapy appointments, and save your bills for these sessions.
    • Attend all scheduled physical therapy appointments.
    • Follow your physical therapist’s treatment plan, and do the exercises they recommend at home.

  • What is constructive desertion in Virginia?

    Couple Who Need to Discuss DivorceIf your spouse does not agree to a divorce, you must establish grounds for divorce. One basis justifying a divorce is that your partner constructively deserted you. If you are considering using this ground as a basis for filing your divorce, you need to know what constructive desertion is in Virginia. You should also hire an experienced family law lawyer to help prove it applies to your divorce.

    What Is Constructive Desertion?

    Constructive desertion is a type of desertion where a spouse does not leave the marital home but acts like they have left the marriage. Examples of what is considered constructive desertion in Virginia include the following:

    • Sex. The deserting spouse refuses to have sex or sexual intimacy without just cause.
    • Marital responsibilities. A partner refuses to share marital responsibilities, such as communicating with their spouse, contributing financially to the household, or taking care of the children.
    • Safety of spouse. A spouse acts in ways endangering their partner’s safety, health, or self-respect.
    • Relocation. The partner refuses to relocate when their spouse is required to move.

    How Do You Prove Constructive Desertion in a Norfolk Divorce?

    If you are trying to obtain a divorce based on this ground for divorce, you must prove that your spouse constructively deserted you. You will need evidence to establish this, such as:

    • Photographs. Take photos of your dirty, unkempt house or yard to show your spouse neglected their responsibilities.
    • Missed appointments. Collect medical and school records to establish that your partner missed your children’s doctors, dentists, and school appointments.
    • Bank and credit card records. Your bank and credit card statements can help prove that your spouse has stopped financially contributing to household expenses.
    • Communications. Save texts and emails between you and your spouse showing they are not communicating with you. You should also keep a record of your unsuccessful attempts to talk to your partner.
    • Police records. If your spouse physically abused you, obtain a copy of the police report and medical records if you sought medical treatment for your injuries.

  • How do I prove my motorcycle accident wasn’t my fault?

    Motorcycle Wreckage on the Middle of the RoadIf you were injured in a motorcycle crash that was not your fault in Virginia Beach or Norfolk, the insurance company for the negligent driver would most likely try to claim that you were at least partially to blame for the collision to try to deny your claim.

    You must fight back and prove that you were not negligent if you want the compensation you deserve for your injuries. You will significantly increase the likelihood of winning your case if you immediately retain an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer.

    How to Establish That You Were Not at Fault in Causing Your Motorcycle Collision

    Insurance companies often argue that a victim was partially negligent because Virginia follows a harsh contributory negligence rule. Under this doctrine, you would not be entitled to any damages if you were even one percent to blame for your motorcycle accident.

    Fortunately, you can take steps to prove that the other driver was the negligent party. Here are the first steps you should take:

    • Call the police. Contact the police at the motorcycle crash scene. The police report will contain helpful information, such as details on how the collision occurred, the officer’s conclusions about who was at fault, and whether any traffic citations were issued.
    • Take pictures. Take photos of the damage to the other motor vehicle and your motorcycle, the crash scene, weather and road conditions, your injuries, and anything else you believe could help prove you did not cause the wreck.
    • Get contact information. Obtain the contact information of the motorist and their insurance company so you can file your claim.
    • Talk to witnesses. You must speak to witnesses about the collision and obtain their contact information at the motorcycle collision scene. Witnesses can help you prove you were not at fault, especially if they are neutral parties with no stake in the outcome of your claim.
    • Hire a lawyer. It is crucial to contact a skilled motorcycle accident attorney immediately. They can collect the evidence you need to prove your case and hire an accident reconstruction expert witness if necessary. They can also go up against the insurance company so that you receive the maximum recovery in your settlement.